In mid-June I sailed from Reykjavik, travelling north from Iceland to Svalbard and Franz Josef Land. On our way northwards across the Norwegian Sea we stopped at Jan Mayen. This little island (no more than a volcano poking out of the waves) has always intrigued me when I've seen it on the map, so I was really pleased to visit the small science station there and see a little of the island.
Both Svalbard and Franz Josef Land were full of bears - we even saw eight bears on one hillside! Normally, this would be bad news as it means they have been left behind when the ice retreated northwards in the spring - but all the bears we saw looked fat and healthy.
It was a real privilege to be able to return to Franz Josef Land. The archipelago was as magical as I remembered it. I particularly love the walrus in all their snorting, belching, noxious smelling, gloriously ugly marvellousness!